Health Care Programs

Basic Healthcare

Health care is one of the biggest challenges in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. SPDC currently supports 27 health facilities in the Niger Delta, including three new ones built in 2009. More than 880 government-employed community health staff work at these facilities.

In 2009 they treated more than 265,000 people and helped to deliver more than 2,000 babies. In addition, we reached more than 114,000 people through our health outreach programmes, which provided a range of services including health education, vaccinations, eye-testing, treatment of malaria and minor ailments, the distribution of mosquito bed nets, HIV screening and de-worming school children.

In March 2010, SPDC and the Rivers State government in the Niger Delta, launched the first community-based health insurance program in Nigeria that involves the private sector, government and community. “SPDC is particularly proud to be a part of this program, which will undoubtedly go a long way to deliver health care in the communities, thus improving and saving lives in the communities we operate,” said Mutiu Sunmonu, Shell Nigeria Country Chair and Managing Director of SPDC.

Ebola Response

Shell Companies in Nigeria in cooperation with NNPC and other partners are supporting the Federal Ministry of Health in its effort to contain the Ebola Virus Disease, which was first reported in Lagos in July 2014.

Targeted donations made by Shell Companies in Nigeria since 16 August include ambulances to the Ebola Emergency Operation Centres in Lagos and Port Harcourt and two trucks with three months fuel supply to the Centre in Port Harcourt. We also donated medical supplies to the Health Authorities and Ebola Emergency Operation Centres in both cities.  

In addition, we are offering IT support to the Centre in Port Harcourt, including six units of 3G Mi-Fi and 6-month subscription fees. These facilities would help back-up the internet connectivity available at the Centre.

Mutiu Sunmonu, Country Chair Shell Companies in Nigeria said: “We are offering support wherever we can. Through donations of medical items, vehicles and IT equipment, we have joined hands with the Federal Ministry of Health to bring Ebola Virus Disease under control".

Company staff have been making voluntary contributions to an internal Ebola Fund. Shell will match the staff’s voluntary contributions and donate the total sum to one of the key relief agencies active in combating the Ebola Virus Disease in Africa.

Shell Companies in Nigeria have adopted practical measures to limit the risk of spread of the virus to and within the Shell Nigeria community. These measures include infra-red thermal scanning for body temperature checks at the entrances of Shell premises, provision of hand sanitizers and staff awareness sessions. Company staff are sharing awareness of prevention measures with family members, contractors and visitors.

The Federal Government has proactively set up isolation centres to contain any spread of the disease.

HIV / Aids Support

SPDC worked closely with communities, national and state agencies for control of AIDS, federal and state ministries of Health and an international NGO, Family Health International (FHI) in the implementation of NiDAR.

Five hospitals in Abia, Rivers, Delta, Edo and Bayelsa states are providing high-quality HIV/AIDS services under the Niger Delta AIDS Response (NiDAR) project initiated by the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC). The facilities, located at Owaza (Abia), Erhoike (Delta), Oben (Edo), Edagberi (Rivers), and Otuasega (Bayelsa), offer the only life-saving chance for people living with HIV/AIDS, by providing them with comprehensive counselling, care and treatment.

In 2009, SPDC and Family Health International, a non-profit organisation – started handing over control of their highly successful Niger Delta HIV/AIDS response project to the Nigerian government. This $2.2 million project ($660,000 Shell share) is Nigeria’s first comprehensive HIV/AIDS programme at primary health care level. The program has trained more than 240 health care providers.

In 2008-2009, about 14,000 individuals were tested for HIV/AIDS and received counselling. In the same period, over 3,700 pregnant women have received care to prevent transmission from mother to child and over 2,400 people were enrolled in HIV/AIDS treatment programs. Ninety people also began tuberculosis therapy in 2009.

In June 2009, the program received an award for collective partnership from the Global Business Coalition, a group of companies that encourage private sector businesses to use their expertise to improve public health through partnerships.

Dr. Fakunle said: “The secret of the success of NiDAR is that the communities are in charge. Each of the hospitals is managed by a committee headed by a nominee of the community. The committee is responsible for the efficient management of the hospital and provision of the required services. For example, at Owaza, the hospital is supported by a group of people living with HIV/AIDS called God’s Intervention Support Group. They have been very helpful in addressing the problem of stigma and discrimination.”

In August 2010, SPDC and Family Health International (FHI) signed an agreement to extend their highly-successful Niger Delta AIDS Response Programme (NiDAR) to 10 more hospitals. NiDAR is already being implemented in five hospitals, and the extension means more people can get comprehensive HIV/AIDS care, treatment and support services at a total 15 SPDC-supported hospitals in Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Rivers and Abia states.

The acting Country Director of FHI Dr. Robert Chiegli said: “We will work to integrate the programme with the Community Health Insurance Scheme inspired by SPDC in Rivers State, and other existing structures so that the benefits of the extended project will be sustained beyond the two-year implementation period.”

The extended programme, known as NiDAR Plus will include Malaria control and Child Survival services. It will also strengthen the healthcare system and infrastructure in the Niger Delta, and help to improve collaboration among public and private sector stakeholders on health issues. Through the new programme, SPDC and FHI also hope to increased awareness about HIV/AIDS, maternal, neonatal and child health services especially among people living with HIV, family and community members.


SPDC has been supporting Health Care delivery in the Niger Delta since the 1980s. We align with government strategies and strengthen the delivery of routine immunisation through clinic based services in the SPDC supported health facilities and community based outreach activities.

It is SPDCs Community Health Services policy to cooperate and work as partners with host communities, all tiers of government, local and international organisations to improve the overall health of the communities where the company operates.

Focus is given to health activities and programmes that have high impact particularly on vulnerable and at risk members of the community. This is one of the driving principles behind support of the country’s immunisation programme since 1997.

Due to difficulty of access to health facilities in the Niger Delta, SPDC provided motorcycles to extension workers for home visits, vaccine cold chain system management, technical and logistic support to Niger Delta communities where it operates. The overall objective is to concentrate all efforts in eradicating polio. 

SPDC has been strengthening the delivery of routine immunisation through clinic-based services in the 27 supported health facilities and community based outreach activities.

Taming Malaria

SPDC takes the threat posed by malaria very seriously and has joined efforts to control the disease.

The World Health Organisation estimates that about half of Nigeria's adults have at least one episode of malaria each year and up to 3-4 times a year in younger children. Malaria is the reason for hospital attendance in seven out of 10 patients seen in Nigerian hospitals. It is the cause of one in four deaths recorded in infants and young children and accounts for one out of every maternal deaths around childbirth.

In 2009, we concluded a three-year, $4.5 million (Shell share $1.13 million) partnership with Africare to reduce the impact of malaria on mothers and children in the Niger Delta through awareness programmes and the distribution of drugs and mosquito nets.

In addition, we reached more than 114,000 people through our health outreach programmes, which provided a range of services including health education, vaccinations, eye-testing, treatment of malaria and minor ailments, the distribution of mosquito bed nets, HIV screening and de-worming school children. 

Health in Motion

Health-In-Motion takes free medical services to remote rural communities in the Niger Delta, where many people live on less than $2 a day.

In the oil-rich Niger Delta, many people are too poor to make long journeys to health clinics or to pay for HIV tests and treatment.

Health-In-Motion takes testing facilities into remote communities and employs local health workers to provide support.

Becky, a 36-year-old mother of two young children, lives in the Nigerian village of Aba in Abia State, Niger Delta.

Nine years ago she learned she had HIV.

“After the test result I was transported home in an open-top truck and left without even basic care,” she says.

“I thought I was going to die.”

Some villagers believed Becky was possessed by spirits.

Her husband and in-laws deserted her and the children.

Finally Becky’s aunt took her to hospital where she stayed for several months. 

Thanks to the treatment she received then and since, Becky is today living a healthy life.

Now she helps others living with HIV by working as a counsellor for the Health-In-Motion programme.

Moving in the right direction

Health-In-Motion takes free medical services to remote rural communities in the Niger Delta, where many people live on less than $2 a day.

Medical teams visit different locations each month, spending around a week on site. For people living in the most isolated places, SPDC has donated ferry boats so that patients can use them to visit clinics and follow up on the treatment they receive in their communities.

The programme also enables nurses to develop new skills, such as screening for cancer and counselling patients. In turn, they pass on their knowledge to others, making the most of limited resources. They train some villagers to become health workers.

Becky took part in several training courses run by SPDC and non-governmental organisations such as Family Health International and the Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.

As a counsellor in the team visiting communities, she encourages people to take the HIV tests and offers information about the virus. Some patients who test positive will not even tell their families, for fear of being ostracised. Becky is among those who provide ongoing support.

One of Becky’s clients is Tornu, a 45-year-old shop manager. He tested positive after his village chief in Bomu, Gokana LGA, Rivers State, told everyone to visit the mobile clinic. He was afraid, but Becky explained the facts. She also advised him to give up alcohol and eat healthily to boost his immune system. “I talk with Becky almost every week and now I feel happier about the future,” he says.

Raising the standard

The mobile clinic also offers immunisation against tuberculosis, along with eye and dental care. “We want to raise the standard of all medical intervention,” says Dr Ufuoma Ovwigho, who helps deliver the programme for SPDC. “By integrating HIV testing into a range of services we aim to reduce the associated stigma and encourage more people to come forward.”

Since the programme launched it has reached 110 communities across seven states in the Delta, all in areas where SPDC operates. In 2011 more than 140,000 people received healthcare through the programme, and in 2012 it was highly commended in the Global Business Coalition on Health Awards: “Health-In-Motion exemplifies the powerful impact the private sector is making on global health,” said the panel of judges.

Thanks to the successful programme partnership and different types of care on offer, village chiefs welcome the mobile clinics. Becky is also very clear about the benefits: “Health-in-Motion has made a great difference to my life. And I hope I’ve improved the lives of others